Travel (v) :

1. To go from one place to another, as by car, train, plane or ship;
2. take a trip;
3. journey.

Throughout our ten years in London, my husband and I traveled to places we had only dreamed of. Through these experiences I was able to amass a wealth of design knowledge.

The first time I ever experienced lava stone was in Sicily. I found that it’s super-common there due to the volcanic activity in the region, not this crazy expensive material that companies are trying to import and sell in the U.S.  

Marble design in India is so beautiful and intricate - you can't really find it in the States.  I have a gorgeous blue and white table top I bought in India and still haven’t used it! I need to find the perfect spot for it.

It was during this time in my life that I finally decided to go back to school for a degree in Interior Design.

In the midst of our travel adventures, having two children and my going back to school (WHEW!) my husband and I bought two properties and rented many others.  We started our British housing adventure renting a Maisonette (a fancy word for duplex with a garden) in Chelsea, on St. Leonard's Terrace.  

Nine months later, we took the leap and bought our first house in London, on Westbourne Park Rd.  This is where I completed my second ever full kitchen renovation, seen below in the first image. I learned so  much from that project! Why are the upper cabinet handles so high? I could barely reach them! And I definitely learned my lesson with those limestone floors - won't do THAT again!

Then we rented a townhouse in Holland Park, bought a Mews House (a cute word for Carriage House) in Notting Hill and finally we ended up renting a grand Edwardian townhouse in the heart of Notting Hill on a main thoroughfare, Ladbroke Grove.

You know those places you pass everyday and wonder what they must look like inside? That was the house on Ladbroke Grove. I would pass by on my walks through the neighborhood and something about it made me dream of the interior.

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At what seemed like the perfect time, it came up for rent when I was pregnant with my second child, George. Our family was growing and we needed more room. It all happened so fast, and suddenly I found myself living in this absolutely amazing home from the 1840s. Our landlord was so rad, she even paid to have me renovate the kitchen and master bathroom!

This house had four bedrooms, four and a half baths, a formal living and dining room, a glass conservatory, and a lower ground floor with kitchen, playroom, and family room that led out to a private garden, Ladbroke Square Gardens which was amazing.

My husband and I adored this house. We even discussed the possibility of buying it but it was way out of our price range and would eventually need a full gut renovation which, as expats, we weren’t sure about committing to.  

We decided to hold off, so my dream of owning and renovating a mid-19th Century townhouse would just have to wait!